Disconnecting…

During my Umrah trip earlier this year, I disconnected myself from the world – pretty much, the entire time. I wanted to focus myself and my mind totally on the most precious journey of my life visiting the holy lands and performing obligations. Now that Ramadan is coming, I am thinking of doing the same too.

You know, I have this sort of serious addiction to the phone, or social medias, in particular. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, What’s App. These four icons are just enough to shove away my time without I realized it. Sometimes, or most times actually, I just wanted to check something on the phone but that something usually turns to many things. Just so many things coming my way and I just couldn’t take my eyes off of them. Though I can excuse myself that there are many beneficial things I gain from the social medias as well, I can’t deny that time has been wasted so much. Scrolling and scrolling, that is a syndrome already.

Knowing myself well, I was determined to log out from everything and uninstall the apps at all for the whole 12-day trip – except What’s App, with the restriction to only respond to family groups just for quick updates. Time was extra precious I couldn’t afford to miss a thing, just because my eyes were on the phone and stole all my focus. So we weren’t best-friend for a while and one funny thing I found out was that, all the while prior to this trip, I always complained that my phone has grown too old that the battery could only last for less than an hour! When I was in Mecca & Medina, the battery lasted up to 2-3 days before I needed to recharge it. Haha I laughed at myself, amused and shamed at the same time.

And there I had the most splendid time ever. The view, the sound, the serenity were just so indescribable. I think I blinked less than usual. Not only mesmerized by the natural surroundings, I also paid good attention to the talks by the Mutawwif every time we gathered for briefing and on the bus going for ziarah. My mom said that I was lucky to have this Ustaz conducting our Umrah because he is so good. He didn’t only lead us but also instilled the elements of soul fulfilling, which is not what she experienced with other Mutawwif in her previous Umrahs. Ustaz Bakri, may Allah bless him and his families.

Divorcing myself with the phone for some time did not harm. I don’t regret not having a single picture with the two most beautiful mosques, I captured the views in my memory. I did snap more pictures at the hotels and ziarah places. Since I came home, there’s no single day goes by without me re-imagining myself around Masjidil Haram and Nabawi. Sometimes I am at the rooftop, sometimes right in front of Multazam. And I believe I will return some day, InsyaAllah.

Well, my Umrah as a whole wasn’t perfect, there were times I got tired and so sleepy I couldn’t sit straight. When I remember those times, I wish I could repeat my Umrah and patch the flaws I made. That’s what I can hope for but better off, I should look at what I have now – which is the incoming Ramadan the holiest month of all, if Allah wills me.

I plan to disconnect myself as I did and devote myself to more ibadah and related. Its a bit longer then the umrah duration but its still no harm, self, won’t harm. With the list of things ready for me to-do during the month, I think I’ve overbooked myself. Haha.. Being ambitious as always not considering the glitches I might surely have at some points of time. But the intention is there! Hehe..And truly I wanna better myself, even if it after all will only result just an inch of betterment from my current state.

I will always keep in mind these words by Nouman Ali Khan from one of his videos I watched. He explained the Quranic concept on improving ourselves and this is how he put it.. “Allah tells us to pray, all the way to closer – and I’m using ‘all the way’ on purpose. To Allah, you’re getting closer – not the closest, not to the end. You’re making it closer to guidance is the eventual goal. And for human being dies pursuing betterment – not perfection, just betterment – they’ll have, later, a successful life.”

Closer, better. Happy fasting everyone. May, in this month, we find the new contentment of life while striving towards betterment. Disconnecting…⁠⁠⁠⁠

Till the next post,
SALZY

31, But Thens…

Ambition was one of the most common questions being asked when we were a kid. We’d be like “When I grow up, I wanna be this…I wanna be that”… answering people. When we’re alone, we daydreamed beyond everyone’s expectation on us. It seemed like a very long way to go but we just couldn’t wait. Couldn’t wait to grow up and be what we wanted to be. Be on our own.

Today I turned 31. I am already at the when-I-grow-up age that I looked forward to when I was a little girl. I am an adult now and in fact, I’ve been an adult for years already.

But then… I am not the lady I pictured myself as, when I was young. I used to be very ambitious, you know? I wanted to be a career woman with corporate dress up and look intelligent.*Laugh*.

But then, here I am. A wage earner of a multi-national corporation who works 9 to 5 daily, an average executive who doesn’t seem like climbing the corporate ladder any higher. I have no professional certification to high-price my CV and I dress simple. Well, that’s not too bad. I’m happy with my job and daily routine now. Work-life balance.

But then, is this what they call a ‘comfort zone’? Am I already in a comfort zone at this age when my career has not even reached a decade yet? Always a parent’s wish to see their children grow up, get a good job and be successful. Is this a success already? Apparently not what I ambition-ed.

But then, what do I do to stand prouder of myself? Nowadays, doing business is more highly regarded in the community. You’re perceived as more independent and strong by running a business especially if you could brand yourself or your product.

But then, doing business was never in my frame. In fact, I tried, once, but it didn’t work out and I just didn’t enjoy it. And then I tried stock trading. It doesn’t have to plead people to buy, I just had to gain as much knowledge on the economic ins and outs.

But then, it’s still so heavy to me. It’s like going back to college with an obsolete brain but it’s okay it can be polished. With my duty at work and as a mother, I juggled. I couldn’t spare time on the day to study the stuff so I stayed up midnight. I joined one-time classes on the weekends and left the kids with my husband or the babysitter with extra charges. I called it a sacrifice.

But then, I realized my attention to my family went condensed. Even when I’m with the kids, my mind was busy picturing the charts and whatnot. I also had disagreement with my ex-stock-dealer husband who differed my trading practice and a lot more issues. This clash of priorities was so demanding. I was thinking, why do I have to trouble myself with all these problems when I don’t have to? I have a fine job and a steady family who needs much of my attention now so I should just focus on them. And so gave up trading.

But then, the kids will grow up and things will slow down. That time, I will look back and might be regret that I did not push myself a bit harder. I will grow old, retire and live depending on my pension money which maybe has lessened due to early withdrawals. What a force. I’m not gonna live the life I can call a success. So what do I do with my LIFE??

But then,  I realized all of my thoughts are all about life. Life in the dunya. The life that is certainly not permanent. I remember during my Umrah trip earlier this year, our first tawaf was led by the Mutawwif. After finishing the seven rounds circling the Kaabah, we performed prayers individually and gathered facing the Multazam (the part of the Kaabah that is between the Black Stone and the door of the Kaabah) for the Mutawwif to lead the du’a, we followed with ‘Ameen’. The du’a was so long. In my silence, I was surprised that the whole content of the prayers were all on repentance. Asking nothing but forgiveness. Nothing health, nothing wealth, nothing happiness, nothing worldly. I was stunned but in the end cried too.

Seriously…my life had been all about the world like it’s never gonna end. I always looked back thinking if-only’s when life is all what Allah has willed it. I’d been thinking of the life when-I-grow-old when growing old is not even certain. I’d been looking forward to my future age when the ultimate future is Jannah that we hope for. This is why I have so much but-then’s in my life. This gotta stop.

There’s a quote that says, “When you wake up with no other intention but to worship Allah, you have found the purpose of life”. Have I? For the next 32nd year onward, InsyaAllah. I’ll do my best. May Allah forgive me and all us for the excessive worldly thoughts over the life after death.

But then? Happy Birthday to me 🙂 Alhamdulillah.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Confessions of a Planner Addict

Guys! Do you realize that Ramadhan is only 38 days to go?? Yes, it’s true and I’m sooo excited about it! It has been like 2 months people keep sharing the countdown update to welcome the holiest month again. Suddenly today I realized that it is just next month! 27th May 2017 to be exact.

And do you know why I am suddenly so excited?? Haha. Yesterday I went to this Silver Linings Talk by Ustazha Yasmin Mogahed at the Federal Mosque with my buddies. There were a few booths opened outside of the hall selling her new book and also other Islamic products such as Ramadhan Planner. Ramadhan Planner guys?! A planner specially designed for us to carry the month wholly? It’s sooo cool I bought it straightaway! Even the fact that I already have an all-year planner.

Just so you know, I’m a Planner-Addict. I loveee planners so much I mean physical planners not digital. I can’t welcome a new year without one and in fact I always have more than one, mind me. Each for different purposes. Not to forget the accessories like colorful pens, stickers, note pads, washi tapes and clips!

Knowing me and my interest, people around me always associated me as an “organized” person. Planner – planning – organizing – organized. Particular, meticulous, proper, detailed and not to forget the most of an overstatement one; “OCD”.

The truth is? I AM THE MOST CLUTTERED PERSON ON EARTH.

My life is cluttered, my brain is cluttered, my desk is messy, my things are everywhere. I am lazy, a big procrastinator, unproductive especially in the mornings, a slow decision maker. I have so many things in mind and they’re stringing to each other. And while they’re pulling and twisting in my head, a panic-ball kicked in out of nowhere just to get lost in the crowd and makes the whole system jammed!

Now you are jammed too? Sorry for the negative vibes. Haha.

That’s how I am the total opposite from what people thought I was. Reality is I am struggling with my slothful self to get my things done. This is why I always need a planner to keep me going, to keep me sane. But that still does not mean I am an organized one. Sometimes, I can’t or just don’t want to even make time to sit and think of the day. And so I go on live unprepared.

Things get messier, new priorities coming, multiple postponement finally becomes urgent and in the end, I get stressful myself. To make it worse, my body reacts to stress in a way that makes me sick and emotional. Worst? When it’s accompanied by that P.M.S!

Up to this point I will get back to my planners and restart my life. Re-arrange things in order based on the importance and urgency, re-motivate myself, meditate moments, clear my mind and there I go. And the cycle goes on and on in a high frequency. I mean, staying organized can last for just like…a week or two? After that, “drama” begins again.

You see…such a big deal myself is. And you’re telling me I am orrrganized?? That is just an annoying sound I can’t process. I feel like have I been faking myself all my life?? I don’t! I just do what I love to do and I do it my way. But why are people seeing the other side of the coin?

If only they knew how disturbed I am with the random good comments they make on me, they’ll know how funny I am. Or maybe they don’t even mean it? Thinking too much. Haha. I remember when I travelled to UK, a friend of my friend called me “Ms. Inventory” when she saw my multiple pages of packing list.

And she said “Oh My God! Your house must be sooo systematic, right?”

You said my houseeee?? I crumpled my 10-page packing list with rolling eyes and sigh! No, I’m kidding. Hehehe…

That’s how perceptions are killing me softly. And so I made this confession that I am not an organized person that you thought I was. I struggle with myself daily to be a better person, to appreciate time that I have because “By time, indeed mankind is in loss.” [Qur’an, 103 : 1-2]. And planners are my little helpers and I’m doing it also due to my true love for stationery so much! My childhood obsession that never fades as I age. The end of my confessions.

Oh yeah, the Ramadhan Planner. I can’t wait to officiate it as it’s dated starting from Sha’ban month to start preparing for Ramadhan, and Sha’ban is just next week, guys! Ya Allah, may we all utilize the month wholeheartedly and gain as much compounded rewards as we hoped for. Let’s try our best.

Till the next post,
SALZY

Blogging & Me

It has been almost two months since I started blogging again. Seems that I really stick to my resolutions. So far, not including this post, I posted 6 entries in each month. Yeah, I know it’s a very low statistic for bloggers but hey, for such a ‘newbie-not-so-newbie’ like me, it’s really an effort..kuddos! :p

Blogging is writing. Writing is a way to express ourselves, writing is also thinking on papers. And blogging is a way to document everything in one place. The very first time I blogged was 10 years ago in my university years. I wrote about my campus life, friendship, love stuffs like that. It’s like a diary open for everyone to read about my life and my thoughts.

Growing into adulthood, I found myself becoming more like a private person. I became more reserved about my stories for public openness and kept it for sharing with only my close people. It’s simple but maybe I was a bit of a complicated person. To me, people could be judgemental on every single detail I shared on the Internet. They will judge and critic about me, my life, my past like they really ‘care’. So I stopped blogging.

I do blog-walking and sometimes I stumbled into my old blogs. Re-reading all my rambles since my younger years, it doesn’t only bring back memories I’ve been missing but also the yearn for writing. It makes me miss blogging so much! True that some of my expressions were non-sense, it is still fun..yeaa I was immature but hey, that’s just the old silly me. Above all of the feelings re-reading my old journal, I thanked myself for the time and effort I made for authoring the stories. Blog is really a personal value I would cherish.

Fast forward 10 years and making a comeback, I view blogging as a channel for me not only to express my thoughts openly but more proficiently. Practice makes perfect. If we wanna improve our writing skill, we have to keep writing. I used to be very meticulous on each entry I’m going to post. It took me so longgg to write a single blog post just for me to find the right words to use, a single typo would annoy me and I would re-read many times before I clicked “Publish”. That was the reason I couldn’t make time for blogging.

Those manners should be abolished. Personal blogging is casual I shouldn’t try to be too perfectionist or else I just won’t move forward. The point is to deliver my points as long as people can understand, that’s find, right? Along the way, I hope I will develop my own writing style and be more comfortable writing from anywhere, the words will just flow..

Till the next post,

SALZY

My 2017 Has Just Started

It’s February and my 2017 has just started. Yes, I just came back from my Umrah trip from 20th until 31st of January 2017. Subhanallah, it was a very meaningful journey to me. It’s my first time there and I hope it’s not the last one. Also, it’s a good start for my 2017 and I’m thankful for the opportunity that came sooner than I ever thought. Truth that Allah is the best planner and it’s never a waste to put our hopes in Him. He, indeed, listens.

In January, I only spent my time preparing for the trip; from learning the stuff until packing the luggage, and also arranging my work at office to be left for my colleagues while I’m away. Now that I’m back, fresh and ready for 2017. Haha, isn’t it too late already? No! It’s never too late to start anything that you ever wanna do. As for myself, I have got my resolutions ready by December.

Here’s my resolution lists categorized accordingly based on 9 Life Areas for Goal Setting by Travis Robertson. Usually I just list down things randomly but now when I go by categories, it gets me more focused.

New Year Resolutions 2017.JPG

There goes, briefly :). More details are in my planner, hehe.

A new year resolutions is a must to me. It is like a compass for me to refer when I get lost. In anytime of the year, there are times we would feel sluggish and life is just slow moving and unfocused. Like erm…post-vacation mode? Post-festive or after an illness defeating us for a day or two. Yeah, anything that relates to a break will require such an effort to get back on track. Don’t waste time! Remember that you have a goal in life and in the year..get back to your “compass” and get the momentum to restart.

Now is the time for me to get moving. The Umrah trip has promoted me with more spirit to live a purposeful life. Except the fact that I am missing my kids so much I haven’t seen them since I am back a week ago. But it’s okay, this week is ending quick I’m running to them in no time! Have a great year ahead, everyone!

Till the next post,

SALZY

Reading Diet

“A reading diet is basically reading different types of books. A lot of people tend to stick to one genre of books because that’s what they like but they should liven up their reading “diet” by reading other types of books like classic books, educational books, etc.” https://answers.yahoo.com/ [What is Reading Diet]

I came across this term today. It’s something that I always do especially when setting up goals for the new year, I don’t know there’s a specific terminology on that. Hehe, cool. Some other definition says it’s about allocating how many hours a day or a week to read what. Depends on individual as for myself, let’s take it as a diet for the whole year of 2017.

Speaking of genre of books, my all-time favourite is; self-help, or you call it motivational books. I’ve been reading this kind of books since my university time and I could not stop. Self-help books are always inspiring and they keep me going with my daily life. It is the first section I will head on to whenever I pay a visit to bookstores. I have read everything self-help. Family self-help, Islamic self-help, parenting self-help and even a self-help for a broken-heart. This genre will never go out of my reading diet.

But when setting up my reading goals annually, I will add-on other genres too. For 2016, because I was involved with stock trading, my focus was more to investment books and related. My favourite pick I would love to recommend to anyone who’s searching for a good investment book is the ‘Secret Psychology of Millionaire Traders by Conrad Alvin Lim.’ 

Non-fiction was my favourite when I was a student but now, not anymore. I even had a collection of Shopaholic series by Sophie Kinsella. It’s been awhile I haven’t been reading novels so I added it in my list and the target was to read three novels in the year. So yeah, I did it three but somehow, it wasn’t really fun anymore like when I was younger. It was so draggy to finish one book, haha you know the feeling.

shopaholic

Here comes 2017, I have set some new genres to feed my reading appetite this year. Those are Religion (Islam), Places and Biography. These are sooo rare to me..hehe. All these while, I do read Islamic books but those are more to ibadah guidelines, du’a collections and Islamic parenting. This time, my approach is more towards worldly issues that happened in the history of our religion. It’s pretty mortified to admit that my knowledge on this subject is so scarce. At times, I avoid to read on these topics because I think it’s too heavy for me absorb. But hey, I’m 30 already I should make a change! Until when do I read just my favourite genres and not grow? I will start with this book “Jerusalem In The Quran by Imran Hosein” recommended by my reading buddy, Aimi. She’s been recommending all those heavy-to-digest books to me. She said “stop lahh reading all those self-help books, read theseee” haha so cruel! But yeah, gonna give myself a try. I’m sure there are so much interesting facts about my religion I never knew existed.

quotefancy-14884-3840x21601

Places. I am not a frequent traveller. The first time I went out of the country was only at the age of 30. I even haven’t finished visited my own country. The problem is with myself. I am not adventurous and travelling is absolutely a big deal to me. I’m not the kind of spontaneous guys who can just pack and go with only minimal planning. But I know the benefits of exploring places while it’s also a sunnah of our Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) who, amongst other things, saw it as an essential way to seek knowledge and appreciate God’s creations. To develop the interest, why don’t I start with reading books on places or travelling tips which I saw quite a plenty nowadays produced by local travellers. That would suit me.

Biography is the story of someone’s life. Personally, I love to learn from people’s life experience. Every individual has his own stories and especially for successful people, there must be a journey worth taking. Sometimes, life can be so dramatic yet real. How do these people get through it? What do they learn from it? After all that happened what has actually made them today? What are their personal thoughts on life? My mom has a biography book of Prof. Dr. Muhaya and when I read through, I can’t be more inspired. She is gold. May Allah bless her and my mom too.

There goes my reading diet for 2017. What about yours? I can’t wait to head on to my favourite bookstores to splurge myself with books. Whatever your pick is, may we all gain something from it and this is gonna be another year of contentment. Happy reading!

Till the next post,

SALZY